Northwest Caucasian languages

Northwest CaucasianNorthwest Caucasian languageNorthwestCircassianNorthwest Caucasian language familyWest CaucasianAbkhaz-AdygeAbkhaz–Adyghe familyCaucasianCaucasian languages
The Northwest Caucasian languages, also called West Caucasian, Abkhazo-Adyghean, Abkhazo-Circassian, Circassic, or sometimes Pontic languages (as opposed to Caspian languages for the Northeast Caucasian languages), are a group of languages spoken in the northwestern Caucasus region, chiefly in three Russian republics (Adygea, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay–Cherkessia), the disputed territory of Abkhazia (whose sovereignty is claimed by Georgia), and Turkey, with smaller communities scattered throughout the Middle East.wikipedia
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Caucasus

CaucasianCaucasiathe Caucasus
The Northwest Caucasian languages, also called West Caucasian, Abkhazo-Adyghean, Abkhazo-Circassian, Circassic, or sometimes Pontic languages (as opposed to Caspian languages for the Northeast Caucasian languages), are a group of languages spoken in the northwestern Caucasus region, chiefly in three Russian republics (Adygea, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay–Cherkessia), the disputed territory of Abkhazia (whose sovereignty is claimed by Georgia), and Turkey, with smaller communities scattered throughout the Middle East.
The region is known for its linguistic diversity: aside from Indo-European and Turkic languages, the Kartvelian, Northwest Caucasian, and Northeast Caucasian families are indigenous to the area.

Ubykh language

UbykhUbykh AdygheUbykh dialect
One language, Ubykh, became extinct in 1992, while all of the other languages are in some form of endangerment, with UNESCO classifying all as either "vulnerable," "endangered," or "severely endangered." There are five recognized languages in the Northwest Caucasian family: Abkhaz, Abaza, Kabardian or East Circassian, Adyghe or West Circassian, and Ubykh.
Ubykh, or Ubyx, is an extinct Northwest Caucasian language once spoken by the Ubykh people (who originally lived along the eastern coast of the Black Sea before migrating en masse to Turkey in the 1860s).

Kabardino-Balkaria

Kabardino-Balkar RepublicKabardaKabardino-Balkaria Republic
The Northwest Caucasian languages, also called West Caucasian, Abkhazo-Adyghean, Abkhazo-Circassian, Circassic, or sometimes Pontic languages (as opposed to Caspian languages for the Northeast Caucasian languages), are a group of languages spoken in the northwestern Caucasus region, chiefly in three Russian republics (Adygea, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay–Cherkessia), the disputed territory of Abkhazia (whose sovereignty is claimed by Georgia), and Turkey, with smaller communities scattered throughout the Middle East.
Kabardino-Balkaria includes two major ethnic communities, the Kabardins (Circassians), who speak a North-West Caucasian language, and the Balkars who speak a Turkic language.

Proto-Northwest Caucasian language

Proto-Northwest CaucasianProto-NWC
This same process is claimed by some to lie behind the development of labiovelars in Proto-Indo-European which once neighboured Proto-NWC.
Proto-Northwest Caucasian language mostly called PNWC (or Adyghe-Abazgi) is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Northwest Caucasian languages

Abaza language

AbazaAbasinAbazin
There are five recognized languages in the Northwest Caucasian family: Abkhaz, Abaza, Kabardian or East Circassian, Adyghe or West Circassian, and Ubykh.
The Abaza language (абаза бызшва, abaza byzšwa; ) is a Northwest Caucasian language spoken by Abazins in Russia and many of the exiled communities in Turkey.

Kabardian language

KabardianEast CircassianKabardian Adyghe
There are five recognized languages in the Northwest Caucasian family: Abkhaz, Abaza, Kabardian or East Circassian, Adyghe or West Circassian, and Ubykh.
Kabardian ( '; Adyghe: адыгэбзэ, къэбэртай адыгабзэ, къэбэртайбзэ), also known as Kabardino-Cherkess''' or East Circassian, is a Northwest Caucasian language closely related to the Adyghe language.

Russia

Russian FederationRUSRussian
The Northwest Caucasian languages, also called West Caucasian, Abkhazo-Adyghean, Abkhazo-Circassian, Circassic, or sometimes Pontic languages (as opposed to Caspian languages for the Northeast Caucasian languages), are a group of languages spoken in the northwestern Caucasus region, chiefly in three Russian republics (Adygea, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay–Cherkessia), the disputed territory of Abkhazia (whose sovereignty is claimed by Georgia), and Turkey, with smaller communities scattered throughout the Middle East.

Abazgi languages

AbazgiAbazgi (Abkhaz and Abaza)Abkhaz-Abaza
Abazgi is the branch of the Northwest Caucasian languages that contains the Abaza and Abkhaz languages.

Noun class

noun classesnoun-classnoun-class system
The linguist John Colarusso has further postulated that some instances of this may also be due to the levelling of an old grammatical class prefix system (so may have become ), on the basis of pairs like Ubykh vs. Kabardian and Abkhaz heart.
Some members of the Northwest Caucasian family, and almost all of the Northeast Caucasian languages, manifest noun class.

Adyghe language

AdygheCircassianLowland Adyghe
There are five recognized languages in the Northwest Caucasian family: Abkhaz, Abaza, Kabardian or East Circassian, Adyghe or West Circassian, and Ubykh.
Adyghe belongs to the family of Northwest Caucasian languages.

Abkhaz language

AbkhazAbkhazianabk
There are five recognized languages in the Northwest Caucasian family: Abkhaz, Abaza, Kabardian or East Circassian, Adyghe or West Circassian, and Ubykh.
Abkhaz (sometimes spelled Abxaz; Аԥсуа бызшәа ), also known as Abkhazian, is a Northwest Caucasian language most closely related to Abaza.

Labialization

labializedlab.labial
Linguistic reconstructions suggest that both the richness of the consonantal systems and the poverty of the vocalic systems may be the result of a historical process, whereby vowel features such as labialisation and palatalisation were reassigned to adjacent consonants.
It is phonemically contrastive in Northwest Caucasian (e.g. Adyghe), Athabaskan, and Salishan language families, among others.

Adygea

Republic of AdygeaRepublic of AdygheaAdygei
The Northwest Caucasian languages, also called West Caucasian, Abkhazo-Adyghean, Abkhazo-Circassian, Circassic, or sometimes Pontic languages (as opposed to Caspian languages for the Northeast Caucasian languages), are a group of languages spoken in the northwestern Caucasus region, chiefly in three Russian republics (Adygea, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay–Cherkessia), the disputed territory of Abkhazia (whose sovereignty is claimed by Georgia), and Turkey, with smaller communities scattered throughout the Middle East.
The Adyghe language is a member of the isolate Northwest Caucasian language family.

Middle East

Middle Easternthe Middle EastMiddle-East
The Northwest Caucasian languages, also called West Caucasian, Abkhazo-Adyghean, Abkhazo-Circassian, Circassic, or sometimes Pontic languages (as opposed to Caspian languages for the Northeast Caucasian languages), are a group of languages spoken in the northwestern Caucasus region, chiefly in three Russian republics (Adygea, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay–Cherkessia), the disputed territory of Abkhazia (whose sovereignty is claimed by Georgia), and Turkey, with smaller communities scattered throughout the Middle East.
Circassian is also spoken by the diaspora in the region and by almost all Circassians in Israel who speak Hebrew and English as well.

Ejective consonant

ejectiveejectives ejective
Kabardian has the least number of consonants of any North-Western Caucasian language, with 48, including some rather unusual ejective fricatives and a small number of vowels.

Indo-European languages

Indo-EuropeanIndo-European languageIndo-European language family
Northwest Caucasian languages do not generally permit more than one finite verb in a sentence, which precludes the existence of subordinate clauses in the Indo-European sense.

Pharyngealization

pharyngealizedemphaticpharyngeal
There are pharyngealised consonants and a four-way place contrast among sibilants.
Ubykh, an extinct Northwest Caucasian language spoken in Russia and Turkey, used pharyngealization in 14 pharyngealized consonants.

Adyghe people

AdygheCircassianAdyghes
Many Northwest Caucasian (Adygean) family names have prefixes like "Hath" or "Hatti", and one of the well known Adyghe tribes has the name "Hatuqwai" (From Хьаты ("Hatti") + Кхъуэ ("male or son"); meaning "HattiSon").
The ethnonym "Adyghe" is used as an endonym by the Caucasian-speaking Circassians of the North Caucasus and as a demonym for the inhabitants of the Republic of Adygea, a federal subject of Russia located in the southwestern part of European Russia, enclaved within Krasnodar Krai, where it is also rendered as Adygeans .

North Caucasian languages

North CaucasianNorth Caucasian peoplesCaucasian
Many linguists join the Northwest and Northeast Caucasian languages into a North Caucasian family, sometimes simply called Kavkazian (in opposition to Kartvelian (South Caucasian), which is thought to be unrelated, albeit heavily influenced by their northern neighbours).
The North Caucasian languages, sometimes called simply Caucasic, is a proposed language family consisting of a pair of well established language families spoken in the Caucasus, predominantly in the north, consisting of the Northwest Caucasian family (also called Pontic, Abkhaz–Adyghe, Circassian, or West Caucasian) and the Northeast Caucasian family (also called Nakh–Dagestanian or East Caucasian).

Sibilant

sibilantssibilancesibilant consonant
There are pharyngealised consonants and a four-way place contrast among sibilants.
However, the palato-alveolar sibilants in the Northwest Caucasian languages such as Ubykh are an exception.These sounds have the tongue tip resting directly against the lower teeth, which gives the sounds a quality that Catford describes as "hissing-hushing".

Pontic languages

PonticProto-Pontic
This hypothesised proto-language is called Proto-Pontic, but is not widely accepted.
Pontic is a proposed language family or macrofamily, comprising the Indo-European and Northwest Caucasian language families, with Proto-Pontic being its reconstructed proto-language.

Circassian languages

CircassianCircassian languageCherkess
Circassian (Cherkess) is a cover term for the series of dialects that include the literary languages of Adyghe and Kabardian.
Circassian, also known as Cherkess, is a subdivision of the Northwest Caucasian language family.

Northeast Caucasian languages

Northeast CaucasianNortheast Caucasian languageNortheast Caucasian language family
The Northwest Caucasian languages, also called West Caucasian, Abkhazo-Adyghean, Abkhazo-Circassian, Circassic, or sometimes Pontic languages (as opposed to Caspian languages for the Northeast Caucasian languages), are a group of languages spoken in the northwestern Caucasus region, chiefly in three Russian republics (Adygea, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay–Cherkessia), the disputed territory of Abkhazia (whose sovereignty is claimed by Georgia), and Turkey, with smaller communities scattered throughout the Middle East. Many linguists join the Northwest and Northeast Caucasian languages into a North Caucasian family, sometimes simply called Kavkazian (in opposition to Kartvelian (South Caucasian), which is thought to be unrelated, albeit heavily influenced by their northern neighbours).
They are occasionally called North Caspian, as opposed to North Pontic for the Northwest Caucasian languages.

Hattic language

HatticHattiancivilization
Some scholars have seen affinities between the Northwest Caucasian (Circassian) family and the extinct Hattic language.
Certain similarities between Hattic and both Northwest (such as Abkhaz) and South Caucasian (Kartvelian) languages have led to proposals by some scholars about the possibility of a linguistic bloc, from central Anatolia to the Caucasus.

Sergei Starostin

Sergei A. StarostinStarostinSergei Anatolyevich Starostin
This hypothesis has perhaps been best illustrated by Sergei A. Starostin and Sergei Nikolayev, who present a set of phonological correspondences and shared morphological structure.
The Dené–Caucasian hypothesis proposes that Northwest Caucasian, Northeast Caucasian, Yeniseian, Sino-Tibetan, and Na-Dené form a single, higher-order language family.